Worthing residents subjected to daily noise after being denied protective fencing

Neighbours of a newly built builders’ merchant are being subjected to daily noise disruption after part of an approved planning application was waived.

A Travis Perkins depot opened in Sompting Road in March, with residents of neighbouring Highfield Court promised acoustic fencing to limit noise.

Residents of Highfield Court are being subjected to noise from a builders merchant after parts of a planning application were not adhered to SUS-191029-172249001

Residents of Highfield Court are being subjected to noise from a builders merchant after parts of a planning application were not adhered to SUS-191029-172249001

Despite being agreed in the planning application approved by Worthing Borough Council, the fencing never materialised, leaving a wall and small trellis fence as the residents’ only defence.

Sylvan Allen, 71, said he had to speak up on behalf of his neighbours, who ‘don’t have the energy’ to fight.

“People regard elderly people as inconsequential and they get brushed off,” said Sylvan.

“They want to have their last few years in relative peace, so why can’t the company help with that by putting up acoustic fencing? People in their 80s and 90s don’t want to look at a building shop.”

Residents of Highfield Court are being subjected to noise from a builders merchant after parts of a planning application were not adhered to SUS-191029-172249001

Residents of Highfield Court are being subjected to noise from a builders merchant after parts of a planning application were not adhered to SUS-191029-172249001

Although licencing hours are 7am to 5pm, Sylvan said work would go from 6am to 6.30pm, with forklifts reversing, materials clattering and workers shouting.

The overbearing racking also risked sleepers falling onto cars or residents, he added.

During the 2016 application, the officer’s report described the boundary with Highfield Court as ‘surprisingly open’ and the 4m wooden fence was agreed alongside 4m of storage racking.

Although the fence remains unbuilt, a Travis Perkins spokesman said it had complied fully with the wishes of the council and was working to minimise noise.

A council statement did not acknowledge the fence plans in the application. A spokesman said: “The racking installed at the Travis Perkins site meets the approved plans. We have received no complaints about noise at the site and continue to work with the applicant to ensure this is monitored and reviewed.”